- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 13, 2004

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The state’s environmental commissioner has rejected nearly 3,000 applications for bear-hunting permits, saying a bear hunt set by New Jersey’s Fish and Game Council earlier this year will not take place.

The game council voted in July to include a six-day bear hunt in the state’s December hunting schedule, despite objections from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley Campbell. The council then began making permit applications available to hunters.

Mr. Campbell responded by saying the DEP will not honor the applications that have been submitted. The governor-appointed Fish and Game Council sets the state’s hunting schedule, but the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife issues permits.

The move has angered hunting enthusiasts, some of whom threatened to sue.

In December 2003, New Jersey held its first bear hunt in 33 years, which Mr. Campbell supported at the time to thin the bears’ ranks. He now supports using contraception to control the population, which numbers about 1,500.



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